I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Darwinist Larry Moran won't join ScienceBlogs

ScienceBlogs is a favorite blog group for hardcore Darwinist bloggers, including Fatheaded Ed Brayton (Dispatches from the Culture Wars) and Sleazy PZ Myers (Pharyngula). Larry Moran gave the following explanation for his decision to not join ScienceBlogs:
.
Afer considerable debate, and much agonizing, I've decided not to join ScienceBorg ScienceBlogs at this time.

When I first started Sandwalk, I was anxious to be part of that group but now, seven months later, there doesn't seem to be a good reason to give up this site for one in the SEED consortium. There are very few advantages to joining ScienceBlogs. They do not come close to outweighing the one major disadvantage—you have to give up a great deal of independence in order to become part of the SEED site.

At one time it seemed as though ScienceBlogs was cornering the market on good science blogging so it was desirable to be associated with a group that had a reputation for quality blogging. That time has past. Now there are lots of good science blogs that have resisted assimilation so it's not so bad to remain on the outside.

Larry Moran is something of a maverick among Darwinists. For example, when other Darwinists were trying to defend Judge Jones after the revelation that the ID-as-science section of his Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion was ghostwritten by the ACLU, Larry expressed his profound disappointment in him.

Larry adds in the comment thread,

Taylor asks,
"I'm curious. Exactly what do you have to give up, anyways?"

Quite a lot actually . . .

You have to sign a contract agreeing that everything on your blog is original work that has never been published. That means I can't publish excerpts from my books and I can't publish some images and photographs that I normally put on my blog here at Blogger.

You have to sign over to ScienceBlogs the rights to the work published on your blog. That's a really serious issue for me since I want to be able to use some of my articles elsewhere and I need to retain copyright or at least prevent it from being assigned to a third party.

You have to give ScienceBlogs permission to use your name, likeness, articles, and biographical information throughout the world in advertising and promotion for ScienceBlogs and the company. While most ScienceBloggers seem to be comfortable with that, I'm not. I'm not that happy with the reputation of ScienceBlogs or SEED magazine and I don't really want to give them permission to use my name to promote their agenda.

These are substantial concessions. The monetary compensation is trivial for a blog like Sandwalk. It's enough to pay for a night at the movies every month.

As for having to "sign over to ScienceBlogs the rights to the work published on your blog," I didn't know that a free-of-charge website could be copyrighted. In several years of surfing the Internet, I have never seen a copyright notice on a free-of-charge website.

Also, ScienceBlogs says,
We believe in providing our bloggers with the freedom to exercise their own editorial and creative instincts. We do not edit their work and we do not tell them what to write about.

Despite the above statement of openness, I presume that ScienceBlogs enrolls only Darwinist blogs -- I have not seen a non-Darwinist blog on ScienceBlogs.

A lot of the success of some of the Scienceblogs blogs has nothing to do with ScienceBlogs. For example, several ScienceBlogs bloggers -- Fatheaded Ed Brayton, Sleazy PZ Myers, Jason Rosenhouse, Mike Dunford, Tara Smith and maybe others -- are co-bloggers on Panda's Thumb, a popular multiblogger blog, and often use Panda's Thumb to announce articles posted on their personal ScienceBlogs blogs. Ed Brayton has the following factors in his favor: (1) as I mentioned, he often uses Panda's Thumb to announce his ScienceBlogs blog articles; (2) he got off to a comparatively early start in blogging -- his archives go back to Nov. 2003; (3) he posts on a broad variety of subjects, e.g., science, separation of church and state, gay rights, freedom of speech, even sports; (4) he often glibly rattles off an incredible stream of details even when he doesn't know what in the hell he is talking about; and (5) he censors dissenting comments in order to make sure that his positions always appear to be unquestionable. Contrary to what his supporters believe, his supposed brilliance did not make his blog an instant success: he was still getting very few comments on his articles -- mostly under 10 and often zero -- even when his blog was 1-2 years old.

I've had my own problems with ScienceBlogs. They were very slow to respond to my complaints about my inability to post comments on their blogs. And they falsely told me that the only problem was that individual ScienceBlogs bloggers were blocking my comments and then got mad when I accused them of blocking my comments themselves when I found that I couldn't post comments on any of the ScienceBlogs blogs. A pretty crummy outfit, I'd say.
.

17 Comments:

Blogger Larry Moran said...

I am not a Darwinist

Thursday, July 19, 2007 6:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

Nothing damning here. It seems that he had a legitimate business reason not to join. Where is the problem?

Thursday, July 19, 2007 9:24:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Wilderness said...

>>>>>>> Nothing damning here. It seems that he had a legitimate business reason not to join. Where is the problem? <<<<<<

So legitimate business reasons for not joining can't be damning? LOL. Go back and read what Larry Moran said.

Larry Moran and I have complete freedom to do what we want here on Blogger.com, and this blog service is free.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 9:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> So legitimate business reasons for not joining can't be damning? <

These weren't.

> Go back and read what Larry Moran said. <

I did. Unlike you, I read material before commenting on it. You should try that.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 9:46:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Larry Moran said...

>>>>> I am not a Darwinist <<<<<

Wow, Larry, it looks like you are using one of those "search aggregators" -- or whatever they're called -- to immediately alert you to any mention of you on the Internet.

Is it OK if I call you a "neo-Darwinist"?

I also get called many things that I am not, e.g., a creationist, holocaust denier (I am a revisionist), anti-Semite, and fundy.

You say that Darwinism is just about natural selection, but I disagree. Darwinism also includes random mutation -- there must be some changes for the natural selection to act upon.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Wilderness said...

>>>>>> So legitimate business reasons for not joining can't be damning? <

These weren't. <<<<<<

Well, it is obvious that Larry Moran and I disagree. We are all entitled to our opinions.

You are really being two-faced here, ViW. You are opposed to my proposed "fairness doctrine" for blogs (i.e., a prohibition of arbitrary censorship of visitors' comments -- I have also proposed an exemption for bloggers who post a prominent notice that they arbitrarily censor) because you see it as an infringement on bloggers' freedom and rights of privacy, yet you see nothing wrong with ScienceBlogs' much worse infringements on the freedom and rights of privacy of ScienceBlogs' bloggers. Even though joining ScienceBlogs is voluntary, those infringements are still infringements, and IMO Larry Moran made a wise choice in not joining.

>>>>>> Go back and read what Larry Moran said. <

I did. Unlike you, I read material before commenting on it. <<<<<<

You so often disagree without stating a reason that I am never sure that you completely read what I posted.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

BTW, ViW, if ScienceBlogs required its bloggers to follow a "fairness doctrine," would you still say that ScienceBlogs' requirements are not "damning"?

Thursday, July 19, 2007 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> I also get called many things that I am not, e.g., a creationist <

Do you believe in Intelligent Design or not? This is a yes or no question, please do not try to pettifog around it by claiming that ID is not creationism.

> holocaust denier (I am a revisionist), <

You denied a "systematic holocaust". Do you believe that millions of Jews were murdered by a coincidence?

> anti-Semite <

As you are the son of Jews, many would find a great deal of Freudian meaning in this. This seems to be a sore point with you and I assume that this post will "disappear" as did an earlier one this morning despite your claim that you are no longer censoring.

> You are opposed to my proposed "fairness doctrine" for blogs ... because you see it as an infringement on bloggers' freedom and rights of privacy, yet you see nothing wrong with ScienceBlogs' much worse infringements on the freedom and rights of privacy of ScienceBlogs' bloggers. <

There is no hypocrisy here. The freedom of bloggers to handle their blogs as they wish is consistent with the freedom of blog hosts to set conditions. Nobody is limiting what the bloggers can do. They are limiting what they can do on the blog host's system. This seems quite consistent.

> You so often disagree without stating a reason <

You so often claim that I have not stated a reason when I obviously have done so. You extend that to say often that nobody has offered reasons when, in fact, there are great numbers of them still shown on this blog. Your failure to understand a reason, or to read it in the first place does not mean that it has not been stated.

> BTW, ViW, if ScienceBlogs required its bloggers to follow a "fairness doctrine," would you still say that ScienceBlogs' requirements are not "damning"? <

Do they require their bloggers to follow what you claim is a "fairness doctrine"?

Thursday, July 19, 2007 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> Do you believe in Intelligent Design or not? This is a yes or no question, please do not try to pettifog around it by claiming that ID is not creationism. <<<<<

If you are not going to let me define what I think ID is, I am not going to say whether or not I believe in it.

Anyway, I have specialized in non-ID criticisms of evolution (see sidebar for links to articles). If any of these non-ID criticisms represents a barrier to evolution, the question of whether or not ID is also a barrier is moot.

>>>> You denied a "systematic holocaust". Do you believe that millions of Jews were murdered by a coincidence? <<<<<<

I am just saying that there could not have been a "systematic" holocaust, because the Nazis had no reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews.

>>>>> I assume that this post will "disappear" as did an earlier one this morning despite your claim that you are no longer censoring. <<<<<

I am fed up with your continuing charges of censorship when I have bent over backwards to stop censoring.

>>>>>> > You are opposed to my proposed "fairness doctrine" for blogs ... because you see it as an infringement on bloggers' freedom and rights of privacy, yet you see nothing wrong with ScienceBlogs' much worse infringements on the freedom and rights of privacy of ScienceBlogs' bloggers. <

Nobody is limiting what the bloggers can do. They are limiting what they can do on the blog host's system. <<<<<<

Wrong, wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong. ScienceBlogs is limiting what the bloggers can do on their own blogs and also is controlling what ScienceBlogs and the bloggers can do with the contents of the blogs. ScienceBlogs is also claiming the right to use information about its bloggers in advertising and promotions. I have no idea why so many bloggers have signed onto ScienceBlogs.

In contrast, Blogger.com bloggers are as free as birds. There are no strings attached to running blogs under Blogger.com.

>>>>>>You so often claim that I have not stated a reason when I obviously have done so. You extend that to say often that nobody has offered reasons when, in fact, there are great numbers of them still shown on this blog. <<<<<<

You often force me to repeat myself, so why shouldn't you repeat arguments that have previously been made on this blog (and I have not seen such arguments anyway)?

>>>>>> BTW, ViW, if ScienceBlogs required its bloggers to follow a "fairness doctrine," would you still say that ScienceBlogs' requirements are not "damning"? <

Do they require their bloggers to follow what you claim is a "fairness doctrine"? <<<<<<

Of course not -- I was obviously asking a hypothetical question, dumbo.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 1:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> If you are not going to let me define what I think ID is, I am not going to say whether or not I believe in it. <

Go ahead and define what you think ID is. I would not be surprised by anything with your penchant for misconceptions.

> I am just saying that there could not have been a "systematic" holocaust, because the Nazis had no reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews. <

And I have pointed out that they did, and given examples of such.

> I am fed up with your continuing charges of censorship when I have bent over backwards to stop censoring. <

I'm sorry that it has taken so much effort to drop that habit. Keep trying and you may succeed in stopping.

> ScienceBlogs is limiting what the bloggers can do on their own blogs and also is controlling what ScienceBlogs and the bloggers can do with the contents of the blogs. <

Wrong, wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong. SinceBlogs is only limiting what the bloggers can do on blogs hosted by ScienceBlogs. They have made no effort to limit what people do on blogs hosted by others.

> In contrast, Blogger.com bloggers are as free as birds. There are no strings attached to running blogs under Blogger.com. <

Then those who object to the ScienceBlogs limits should run their blogs on Blogger.com and stop carping.

> You often force me to repeat myself <

No. I definitely do not. If you feel, as you seem to, that repeating yourself will make your drivel true, that is up to you.

> so why shouldn't you repeat arguments that have previously been made on this blog <

What has that to do with your denying their existence?

> (and I have not seen such arguments anyway)? <

There is a great deal of material under your nose that you don't see.

> I was obviously asking a hypothetical question, dumbo. <

And you were ducking a real question, asshole.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 1:32:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Moran said...

Larry Fafarman asks,

Is it OK if I call you a "neo-Darwinist"?

No, that would be totally incorrect.

You say that Darwinism is just about natural selection, but I disagree. Darwinism also includes random mutation -- there must be some changes for the natural selection to act upon.

I agree. Darwinism is about natural selection acting on random mutations. I don't reject that mechanism but I'm a pluralist not a Darwinist. I know that there are other important mechanisms of evolution.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 5:11:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViW wheezes --
>>>>>> Go ahead and define what you think ID is. <<<<<<<

ID is of course the idea that some things are too complex to have evolved by random processes. I think that the idea has merit, but as I said I prefer to focus on non-ID criticisms of evolution. You Darwinists are just obsessed with this ID thing -- you act like it is the only criticism of evolution.

>>>>>> I am just saying that there could not have been a "systematic" holocaust, because the Nazis had no reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews. <

And I have pointed out that they did, and given examples of such. <<<<<<

Sure, the Nazis could identify anyone dumb enough to run around Nazi-occupied Europe in black coats with beards, sidecurls, yarmulkes, etc..

>>>>> I'm sorry that it has taken so much effort to drop that habit. <<<<<<

Now maybe you can work on getting Fatheaded Ed, Sleazy PZ, Ding Elsberry, etc.. to drop the habit.

>>>>> SinceBlogs is only limiting what the bloggers can do on blogs hosted by ScienceBlogs. <<<<<

Duh -- those are the limitations that Larry Moran and I were talking about. He said that the limitations are too burdensome and I agreed with him. Then you came along and said that those limitations are no problem. Your problem is that you have to disagree with everything I say just for the sake of disagreeing with me.

>>>>>> They have made no effort to limit what people do on blogs hosted by others. <<<<<<

That's irrelevant -- we were talking about limitations imposed on ScienceBlogs bloggers. Sheeeesh -- what a quibbler.

>>>>>> Then those who object to the ScienceBlogs limits should run their blogs on Blogger.com and stop carping. <<<<<<

There is nothing wrong with pointing out how screwed up ScienceBlogs is -- and it is no surprise that ScienceBlogs attracted screwed up bloggers like Fatheaded Ed, Sleazy PZ, and Brazen Jason Rosenhouse.

>>>>>> I was obviously asking a hypothetical question, dumbo. <

And you were ducking a real question, asshole. <<<<<<

A hypothetical question is a real question, dunghill, and you still haven't answered my question, so I'll ask it again --

If ScienceBlogs required its bloggers to follow a "fairness doctrine," would you still say that ScienceBlogs' requirements are not "damning"?

Thursday, July 19, 2007 5:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the wilderness said...

> Sure, the Nazis could identify anyone dumb enough to run around Nazi-occupied Europe in black coats with beards, sidecurls, yarmulkes, etc.. <

Even you can't be dumb enough to believe that is the only way to identify Jews. You do not wear a black coat, sidecurls, a yarmulke, and the last time I saw you, you didn't have a beard, yet I am sure that most people would assume from your appearance that you are a Jew. Of course there are also endless records and personal histories.

> Now maybe you can work on getting Fatheaded Ed, Sleazy PZ, Ding Elsberry, etc.. to drop the habit. <

But unlike you, they don't censor because of content. They have banned you for cause.

>>>>> SinceBlogs is only limiting what the bloggers can do on blogs hosted by ScienceBlogs. <<<<<

> those are the limitations that Larry Moran and I were talking about. He said that the limitations are too burdensome and I agreed with him. <

Then don't have your blog hosted by ScienceBlogs. Is this too difficult to understand?

> Then you came along and said that those limitations are no problem. <

You are modifying what I said, as usual. I said that these limitations by ScienceBlogs do not limit individual bloggers who want to be hosted elsewhere.

Your problem is that you have to disagree with everything I say just for the sake of disagreeing with me.

>>>>>> They have made no effort to limit what people do on blogs hosted by others. <<<<<<

> That's irrelevant <

What could be more relevant? You are so dim as to believe that a limit by an individual hoster is comparable to limits systemwide.

I gave an earlier example of how you are free to take your soapbox into the park and get up on it and bray anything you want. You do not have the right to go into someone else's home and bray without abiding by their rules no matter how welcoming they may seem.

You can put anything you want on your blog if you host it yourself. If you want it hosted by ScienceBlogs, you have to go by their rules.

Sheeeesh -- what a pettifogger.

> There is nothing wrong with pointing out how screwed up ScienceBlogs is <

Then why haven't you done so?

> and it is no surprise that ScienceBlogs attracted screwed up bloggers like Fatheaded Ed, Sleazy PZ, and Brazen Jason Rosenhouse. <

And you are jealous of them.

> If ScienceBlogs required its bloggers to follow a "fairness doctrine," would you still say that ScienceBlogs' requirements are not "damning"? <

First you must define "fairness doctrine". Are you talking about a requirement to allow any sort of blather, insults, ad-homonym attacks and false identities as is your usual definition? These are the reasons that you have been banned in so many places.

Try to stick to the points and don't get buried in ad-homonym attacks and insults, you pathetic clueless cretin.

Friday, July 20, 2007 4:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

A Darwinist, Larry Moran,
Declared "I'm no Darwinist, man!
I abjure that word,
So surely you've heard
I've redefined it. I can!"

Saturday, July 21, 2007 3:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The USA is now a party to the Berne convention. Copyright protection for creative works is automatic, no copyright notice is required.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works

You can obtain additional protection in the USA by registering a copyrighted work, but the remedies under the Berne convention do not require it.

The Panda's Thumb weblog does have a notice, found at the bottom of the right sidebar. They note that their material is licensed via a Creative Commons license:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:15:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...

>>>>>> The USA is now a party to the Berne convention. Copyright protection for creative works is automatic, no copyright notice is required. <<<<<<

Section 12 of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 says,

Title 17, United States Code, as amended by this Act, does not provide copyright protection for any work that is in the public domain in the United States.

I think that there is a good chance that anything originally published in a website that has unrestricted access would be considered to be in the public domain.

>>>>>>> The Panda's Thumb weblog does have a notice, found at the bottom of the right sidebar. They note that their material is licensed via a Creative Commons license <<<<<<

What PT claims and what PT can get are two different things that have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:53:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViW drivels,
>>>>> First you must define "fairness doctrine". <<<<<

I have already defined it a zillion times, dunghill. It is a prohibition against the arbitrary censorship of blog visitors' comments, where such censorship is defined as being for any of the following reasons:

(1) The blogger disagrees with the comment.

(2) The comment is contrary to the point(s) that the blogger is trying to make, though the blogger agrees wholly or partly with the comment.

(3) The blogger dislikes the commenter or the suspected commenter.

A ban on a commenter automatically violates the doctrine because bans are without regard to the contents of individual comments.

So poop or get off the can: If ScienceBlogs required its bloggers to follow a "fairness doctrine," would you still say that ScienceBlogs' requirements are not "damning"?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:15:00 AM  

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